Rock lobster tagging program
To access your online lobster reporting:
Online reporting is strictly available to those users who are unable to access the GoFishVic RL app. You must receive approval to report using this method from the Rock Lobster Fishery Manager prior to catching rock lobster.
Those who report via this webpage without prior approval will not be fulfilling their regulatory reporting obligations.
To apply for approval to use this reporting method, please email firstname.lastname@example.org explaining why you cannot report via the GoFishVic RL app.
For a guide on how to use GoFishVic:
Having issues with the GoFishVic app?
Victoria’s recreational rock lobster tagging program was launched in 2017 to improve our understanding of the annual catch and manage stocks sustainably. All recreational fishers are required to report the rock lobster they catch and keep. The program has been highly successful to date and our initiative has been heralded by industry, FRDC and other stakeholders. In recognising the value of the catch information provided by thousands of fishers, the program has now been made ongoing so that future generations can continue to enjoy this remarkable fishery.
Previously, there has been a lack of information on how many rock lobsters are harvested by the recreational sector. The reporting program is collecting information on the numbers caught recreationally by using the number of digital tags reported to represent the number of rock lobsters caught.
Information collected through the program is building the VFA’s capacity to maintain a healthy fishery. This is important for the VFA as managers of the resource, important for recreational and commercial fishers, and absolutely vital to the long-term sustainability of stocks.
Phase two of the program
The VFA worked closely with the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) under FRDC project 2019-075, and a dedicated Rock Lobster Tagging Program Steering Committee to undertake a thorough review of the program. Based on the recommendations from this work, the VFA launched phase two of the rock lobster tagging program with a digital app.
The program now uses GoFishVicRL, a smartphone App from the Victorian Fisheries Authority. The app was released on 15 November 2023. Previously rock lobster could be tagged through the GoFishVic app.
GoFishVic RL streamlines the process for reporting rock lobster catches by adopting digital tags. This reduces the plastic footprint of the previous phase of the program by removing the need for fishers to order, possess and affix plastic tags to rock lobsters.
What do I need to know about the rock lobster tagging program?
The aim of the reporting program is to enable a harvest estimate to be made to improve the sustainable management of the fishery.
The GoFishVic RL app has been updated for the 2023/24 fishing season
The VFA has listened to feedback received from the recreational fishing community and implemented significant changes to the reporting app.
Commencing 16 November 2023, fishers must download the new GoFishVic RL Reporting App and create a new account prior to fishing for rock lobster.
The reporting program remains entirely digital
You are no longer required to order, possess and attach plastic tags to rock lobster. Catch details must now be reported via the GoFishVic RL app.
Reporting your catch is mandatory
Reporting of rock lobster remains mandatory. Fishers need to report their catch and allocate a digital tag via the GoFishVic RL platform. The requirement to tail punch rock lobsters remains unchanged, as do the size limits, bag limits and possession limits.
Fishers are required to register the intent to be active for each season via the App prior to targeting rock lobster. Creating your account prior to the fishing season helps us measure the level of participation in the fishery and review how this changes from year to year.
Download the GoFishVic RL app via the App store or Google Play, or access an online reporting account. Click here to access the web portal for desktop users.
Click here to access a Quick Reference Guide to help guide you through the process of creating an account and also reporting your catch once season opens.
- Download the GoFishVic RL app (pictured right) in the App Store and Google Play. You can also click here to access the web portal for desktop users.
- Create an account
How do I report my rock lobster catch when the season begins?
A GoFishVic RL Quick Reference Guide has been created to help guide you through the steps of reporting your catch.
Reporting is easy and we encourage fishers to get into the habit of reporting their catch as soon as possible. Simply start a new trip, add your catch details including the date and location and the carapace length of your catch, allocate a digital tag and finish your trip.
Please contact us for assistance with setting up your account and reporting your catch by emailing us directly at email@example.com or calling the customer service centre on 136 186.
Season Summary Report
We have produced a summary report that provides an overview of data collected through Season 1 (2017/18), Season 2 (2018/19), Season 3 (2019/20) and Season 4 (2020-21) of the program, and comparisons between the seasons. Click here to view the report. (PDF - 1.7 MB)
FRDC project 2019-075
The VFA has recently worked closely with the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) under FRDC project 2019-075, to undertake a thorough review of the program.
As part of an FRDC Project, researchers from IMAS conducted a diary phone survey of recreational rock lobster catches in the 2020/21 season. The survey provided information on the Victorian recreational rock lobster catch, effort and catch rates that is not routinely collected and can validate data previously collected via the electronic catch reporting app VicRLTag. Further, a ‘wash-up’ phone survey was undertaken to collect information to complement the diary surveys and inform development of the new digital tagging program arrangements.
Summaries of the results from the project can be viewed as follows: